Posted by: christinelaennec | May 22, 2010

Goodbye Union Terrace Gardens?

Union Terrace Gardens, Aberdeen 15 May 2010

On Wednesday, we were very upset to hear that Aberdeen City Council had decided to pave over Union Terrace gardens and make a new Civic Square.  The gardens are in the centre of Aberdeen and they have brought so much pleasure to me, as the Dafter’s school is not far away and so I have walked past or through them very often.  The City carried out a consultation about the future of the gardens, and 55% of the 11,000 respondents said they wanted them to be left alone.  Despite having said they would only redevelop them if this was what the citizens of Aberdeen wanted, the Council then decided otherwise.

The trees in Union Terrace Gardens include several elms that are at least 100 years old.

The Council had previously granted planning permission to Peacock Arts to build a contemporary arts centre within the gardens, and Peacock had 75% of the funding in place.  This agreement has now been rescinded.  The funding for the Civic Square, estimated to cost £150 million, is short £95 million.  This is at a time when the Council is already far in the red and has made “swingeing cutbacks” in many areas.

Union Terrace Gardens, May 2010

The Dafter says we should refuse to pay our council tax if the City Council is going to put everyone 95 million pounds in debt, especially when they have cut back on schools, pools, classroom assistants, help for the disabled, etc.  But I said that me being in jail would not be a solution to the problem.



  1. That is just awful that they could even think of getting rid of UTG. That kind of thing just makes me so angry! Cities like Aberdeen NEED green areas like that, for many reasons, one of them being global warming. It’s just terrible.

  2. I’ve only recently discovered your blog and I’m totally horrified at the idea that Aberdeen will lose Union Terrace Gardens. Some of my fondest memories as a child, from family visits to my Granny in Aberdeen, are of Union Terrace Gardens. It’s a perfect oasis in the heart of the city – a little patch of peace and quiet and that the council could even contemplate paving it over astounds me. It would change the whole heart of the city – and not in a good way.

    • Dear Pat,
      I completely agree and am still horrified myself. There is a group called the Friends of Union Terrace Gardens: I recently heard a talk given by one of the city planners, who indicated that Sir Ian (Wood) has now come round to thinking that to destroy the Denburn Valley, i.e. to raise the entire thing to street level, would not be good. But who knows what will happen? What mystifies me and everyone else I talk to is how the City of Aberdeen can contemplate spending nearly £100 million on this project alone, when there are savage cutbacks in frontline services everywhere. Also, since when do unelected businessmen make major civic decisions about city centre parks? Makes you wonder what’s really going on behind the scenes. (And I won’t mention Donald Trump, just up the road!)

      I hadn’t read your blog until now either – what a great name! Crime Fiction and Knitting/Spinning = Mysterious Yarns!

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